I could sense something was troubling my 11 year old son, over the course of a few days.
I kept asking if everything was ok and he kept assuring me, somewhat matter of fact-ly and with an undertone of irritation , that all was well.

After about a week, he came to me complaining of an upset stomach.
Being a nurse by profession, I ran a list of symptoms past him, to try and determine a possible diagnosis and resultantly the necessary treatment.
I sat next to him and then asked;” it sounds to me like you are anxious. What is worrying you, my boy. Tell mom. It does not matter what it is.”

After five minutes of building up his courage, he confessed that he has been unusually anxious for over a week,about everything.
When he hears a sound in the middle of the night, he wonders if it is an intruder. When he sees a swelling on his skin, he wonders if it is a spider bite.
He continued also telling me about many other fears and worries, eg that he does not understand why he is so angry and irritable with us, his parents, all the time.

I hugged him and reassured him and “shone some light and insight” into each fear and worry.
I informed him that what he was experiencing was a normal pre teen stage. He has one foot still in childhood and one foot heading towards adulthood and his brain and heart is still trying to balance the two transitions.
I ended off by reminding him again:” don’t wait so long next time to turn to us. When I ask you, because I know you better than you know yourself, what is wrong, take up the invitation and talk to me. It is not a sign of being “ a baby”. You don’t have to try and act all strong and mature when you are under our roof.The quicker you approach us and trusts us, the quicker we can shine light and truth and wisdom into your situation. We can come around you and guide you, protect you from incorrect thinking and also stand with you in prayer to cover you spiritually. But we cannot do this if you don’t come to us”

A few days later , I was replaying ( the way mothers do) the scenario in my head. I prayed to God to please give my husband and me wisdom to raise our boys in this day and age and to come along side us as we teach and guide our boys. I asked Him to please surround them with His spirit when we are not close to them.
I reminded God how bound I was by fear when I was pregnant and confessed that I don’t want my boys to live in the agony of fear, as I have had to.
It was at this point of my prayer that my last words to my son popped up loud and clear in my mind.
For a few seconds I was taken aback and unsure why God reminded me of this.
Then the truth dropped.
I heard Gods Spirit repeat :
“ my child, don’t wait so long to talk to Me and run to Me with your fears and worries. I know You better than you know yourself. I formed you.
The quicker you decide to trust Me, the quicker I can guide you and shine light and wisdom into your situation. The quicker you come to Me I can dispel all incorrect thoughts and lies with My Spirit of Truth. I will surround you with My love and draw you close to me.
It is not by your might or power, but by the power of My Spirit. I will show My self strong in Your weakness. Just draw close to Me”

God is the ultimate Father.
We are indeed His children.
And by His Spirit we can truly cry :” Abba!!”


Fitting in the box

I read the other day:” some people won’t like you unless you fit into their box.
If this happens, feel free to shove the box up their nostril”

I smiled as I read this.
It was a timely message for me, as I have had a rather pressing season of being misunderstood in my intentions, being rejected, judged and just “not fitting in the box”

In the days to follow,I tried to remember this image in my minds eye whenever I felt the sting of rejection rearing its ugly head or the feeling of uselessness starting its suffocating emerge.
But true to being a child of God, I was soon tested on this very “new truth” I was clinging to.

I was late one morning as I was walking to work.
I had to up the pace of my steps.
My mind was full of the previous night’s fallout I had with my preteen son.
As I was rushing ahead over busy streets and noisy traffic, my mind was replaying the fall out- scene with my son, while simultaneously trying to problem solve.
I was about to cross an intersection.
I saw that the traffic light was red .
However, the moment I stepped off the curb, the traffic light turned green for the waiting traffic at the stop street. The car that was waiting, sped ahead ,at the same moment I stepped off the curb.
I realised my ignorant mistake as the light turned green, but I was already three steps ahead, so I paced up my step.
The cars ‘ bumper missed my thigh by millimetres!
The irate driver opened his window ,while pressing unnecessarily long on his hooter, and shouted incessant profanities over me.
It was morning peak hour. There were many many more motorists sitting in their cars being witness to what happened.
I was wrong.
I admit.
The driver had all right to be irritated.
But it was an honest, unintentional mistake.

My already burdened heart and tired soul from the previous nights’ fallout with my son, just felt like it wanted to crumble under the embarrassment in front of all the onlookers.
The profanity the irate motorist was shouting over me, was just crushing my spirit more.
I wanted to turn and say I am so sorry, but I was too embarrass and the tears just too close. I just put my head down and kept on walking.
My heart was bouncing up and down like a wild donkey from my narrow escape.

“ thank you Lord for protecting me from harm. I am truly sorry, but I wish this guy would not be so hard. If only he knew my heart, he would be less condemning now. I am sure he has made mistakes in his life as well. He is driving in his nice expensive car in his nice expensive clothes. If I had a car and my life was somewhat different, I would not be walking. If I was not feeling so much like a failing mom and wife, I would have been concentrating better.”

I can’t blame him, though.
He knows none of the internal battles raging in me.
As I was trying to filter and process my thoughts, God reminded me how often I have been in a reverse role, showing my irritation or cursing another driver or pedestrian under my breath, labelling them as an idiot or inconsiderate dumb head, when I was driving.
How often and quick we are to jump to conclusions and judge someone’s actions, when we have no clue whatsoever actually what is going on in that persons life or even what the true motives are behind their action.

Grant it.
There is indeed selfish and self entitled people out there that would cross the road or make a U-turn in front of you, because, THEY REALLY JUST DON’T CARE about the next person.
But is this indeed the case with every single person, irritating you?
When we do that, are we not also just labelling people as not fitting into “ our box” at that moment?

What is “our box” ?
Its our place of control, order, perfection. Our place where everything and everyone fits where it must, do what it must and deliver what is expected as per OUR plans and OUR schedules.
“ our box” is symbolic of our preconceived expectations.
If our expectations are not met, well then that person has stepped out of the line, or stepped out of our box.

The result? We don’t like them at that moment.

And that would be ok, if that is where it stayed.
But it does not, does it?
We now go ahead and “make up our mind” or judge that person as lazy, inconsiderate, stupid, selfish, ungrateful and so forth.
Its ok to get irritated with people.
We are human.
But I guess its what we do with that irritation or unmet expectation.

As I walked into my work station that morning, feeling quite bruised and broken from being shoved into too may peoples “ boxes”, I asked God to help me to not do the same to those around me.
I will need His help , for we all fall easily into this habit.

We do it even with God.
We know the God “ who is”.
But we try to fit Him into our box of” the God WE want”

“Help me Lord.
It is easy to find the dirt in anyone.
Help me Lord to find the gold in people.
Rescue me when I am “ boxed in” by others…..”

Do. Or do not. There is no try.
– Joda,Starwars.

I was taking strain trying to maintain the bond of peace with a very very close family member.
Whatever i tried, did, say….a manipulative and paranoid spirit would spew forth from this person.
Often i would explode in defense and daggers would fly back and forth and we would both end up wounded.

I remember talking to God saying:" Lord , this is so difficult. I am always left having fits of rage and anger. I end up judging her and i walk around with hurt and bitterness.

With a pouting face, i approached God:
"i will apologise, even though she is wrong, and i will ask You to forgive and heal the hurt i feel.
Its just, Lord, why is she like this.?
I love her so much and have given up so much for her!! "

I was waiting for Gods Spirit to enfold me in comfort and love.
I expected Him to say:
" i know, i know my child how hard you try"
Instead, the words of 1 Cor 13 popped up:
"Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy or boast and is not proud.
It is not rude,selfseeking or easily angered.
It keeps no record of the wrong.
It does not delight in evil. It always protects, trusts,hope and persevere.
Love never fails."

I was stunned.
How easily we claim to love…….and yet our love maybe contains ONLY one or two of above aspects,yet lack everything else.

It took me a minute or two to realise that God was not comforting me, but challenging me!

The moment His insinuation hit me,i jumped into defense:
" Lord!! Ok ok, i get it. But i DO love her!! See how much i sacrificed! You, Yourself showed Your love through sacrifice!! Come on!! That 1 Cor 13 love is impossible!! Its supernatural!!
You expect me to fully love like that, You need to help me"

Since that day i tried. God knows, i tried so hard!!
I would pray almost daily:" help me love with a 1 Cor 13 love"
I TRIED to be patient. I TRIED to be kind. I TRIED not to get easily angered.

Daily i would fail in my trying.
I may get the" fits of rage" part right, but then i would find myself " keeping record of the wrong"
Or i would get the "always hope, always belief "part right but then fail on the " rude and selfseeking" part.
I kept trying and kept being hurt, over and over…..

In exasperation i cried: " i am trying so hard! I am not Jesus!! I cant do this! You are not helping!!"

No answer……for months and years on end.

So i kept trying….and kept failing…….

Pure exhaustion brought me to a place where i decided to stop trying.

" ok Lord. I now fail dismally.
I give up on the part of " always hoping, always persevering"
I used to belief that love never fails.
I dont anymore."

I stuck to the part of " love is kind" but not because I loved, but because i felt driven by guilt..
I no longer hoped,believed and decided not to persevere.

Something strange and unexpected happened.

As i backed off doing acts of kindness in the hope to " see a return of love-fruit", God started to reveal things to me.
I realised with a shock that the love i had for this family member had portions of
" selfseeking" to it.
To my horror i realised that at times i " do acts of kindness" with " conditions" attached to it.
How often do we reach out to others with expectation to
have a return: a smile, a thank you, a certain positive response.

" that is absolutely NOT true LORD," i protested!!
" i show kindness because i want to bless her!"

" Then why do you get angry when she does not eat the cake you baked her but give it away or do not wear the shirt you bought her? You dont sleep for days as you " keep record of this wrong" in your minds eye, my dear child?"

I had no defence.

I continued the acts of kindness but made sure i delivered it without expectation on my part.

I no longer " planned" my acts of kindness. There was no more strive. No more trying.
I just just did as ifelt led to do on the spur of the moment.

Some hing happened.
Acts of kindness started to come from her when i did not expect it.
Not at first.
But eventually.

My final lesson in love came when I went to help her with something, on her request.
As i stood back after assisting her, it was as if my eyes were unveiled.
I looked at her . she was totaly unaware of me looking at her and i saw her , what i belief, as God sees her.
I saw her insecurities, her heart, her fears, her loneliness, her dreams and wishes. I saw the child in her that never had a chance to develop…..all in a span of a few seconds.
And then i felt love towards her…..
Compassionate, overwhelming inexplicable love that had no expectations……
It did not come because i tried.
It came because i just decided to do.


When i have no words…

Your word says that if we draw close to You, You will draw close to us….

But Lord, how do we do this when we are drawn in so many different directions by our many roles as moms, wifes,daughters,sisters and friends.
Lord, i may as well be honest to You, for You know my heart anyway:most days i only have the " crumbs and scaps" of my day left to give You.
I dont want to…..but that is what i have.
Untill You can please open this " red sea" of my many responsibilities in front of me, i ask that You take my scraps, take my "five loafs and my two fish" and multiply it none the less. I pray that You will indeed show Yourselve strong in my weakness.
I pray that You grant me a willing spirit to sustain me and that You restore joy to my soul.
Your word says to come to You when we are weary…..it asks for nothing more( not even for my scraps and leftovers)…… You just ask one thing: and that is THAT I COME, just as i am, just where i find myself.
So i come to You Lord, when i have five minutes in the shower. I come to You when i have a wee on the loo. I come to You when i brush my teeth…..i have nothing to give. I dont have strenght to even talk. So i come at these " small stolen and weird moments"
I just incline my heart and soul to You and whisper:" Jesus"…
Its no lofty prayer, i know….but i know Your name is lofty and high!
Your word says that at the mention of Your name every knee and situation will have to bow. I know that by no other name salvation can be found. I know that no one can come to the Father but through Your name.
I know that whoever trusts in Your name will not be put to shame.
So i come…at these awkward stolen moments and i just whisper Your name.
I dont ask any thing. I dont state my case. Because i know that Your name alone will , make my situation bow and will save it. I know Your name alone will bring me and my troubled heart before the Father. Your name promises me that i wont stand in shame for too long.
Speak to me in these awkward stolen moments i pray…..for i, Your servant is listening…….


We have just gone through the process of revealing to our 11 yr old about the " birds and the bees"
Someone once said,that your first born is your "practice child". You are so inapt and inexperienced with being a parent first time round, that everything you try is by trial and error.
And so it is with us.
We were so nervous about having " this talk" with our son, we prayed a whole year in advance for God to show us the way, to prepare our sons heart and mind and to guide us!!
In the book we are using to guide us , it warns about the trap of ponography and suggests you teach your son the method of "bounching your eyes".
This involves the habit of immediately taking your eyes away at first glance when an inappropiate scenario present itself to you unexpectedly, whether on a screen, magazine, or in real " flesh".
The words of Casting Crowns puts it brilliantly:" its the second glance that ties the hands…"

This got me thinking.

This is really a valuable method to use in our spiritual walk too.
As mother, feeling the weight and importance of parenting my boys, i OFTEN go to bed pondering my mothering skills.
" Did i handle that disrespect my son showed me right? Was i too hard ? Was i too lenient?
What is it,that that mother in our church, whose children walk and talk so obediently and whose kids is up stage playing the drums in the worship team, doing different from me?"
I find myself pondering and pulling apart every misbehavior, every bad school report and disecting it…..fearing the worst outcome for my child. What if???
I do this in other areas of my life.
In my marraige,in my friendships….in my life in general.

When you learn how to drive a car, you quickly learn that what you focus on is what you are drawn to. If you look at someting too long on the side of the road while driving and you dont look ahead of you, you will find your vehicle veering off course.

I have also read that worrying is a negative way of meditation. To worry is to MEDITATE on the negative.

Yet Gods word is clear:
" whatever is good, pure, noble, lovely, praiseworthy, MEDITATE on such things….."
And the promise?
His supernatural peace will gaurd our hearts and minds.

It instructs us to fix our eyes on JESUS,
The promise?
That He will be the author and perfector of our faith.

So maybe.
Just maybe i must learn to also BOUNCE MY EYES.
When i feel worry creep up on me, i need to immediately bounce my eyes off what is causing me to fear and fix it on Jesus.
His Word says He never leaves nor forsake us.
In that case then,
I wilL deliberately bounce my eyes off my fear/ worry and ask God:" show me where YOU are in this? What would YOU have me do? What are YOU trying to show me in this?"

This way i take my eyes off myself by trying to figure out what i am doing wrong. It also helps me to take my eyes of the enemy trying to figure out how he is busy robbing me.

In the physical if i had to be bound by robbers, or incapacitated by a load that has fallen on top of me and has pinned me down, i may not be able to move.
But my eyes are controlled by my brain. I can move them around in my head.

Like wise i can will myself, no matter how pressing my situation is, no matter how incapacitated i feel by my situation,to bounce my spiritual eyes towards Jesus. My eyes dont need to be
Its not that i am completely ignoring and denying my situation, because that would be closing my eyes or turning a blind eye. No i am choosing to bounce my eyes to God and saying to Him: "open my eyes and show me where You are in this. Show me what good is in this so i can be steered towards it."

Gods word says that He always provides a way out. But unless i look to Him for the answer by bouncingy eyes off my situation, i wont be able to SEE the way out.

Apart from that, if i continue to ponder on the
hoplessness of my situation, i will find myself steering to it and soon find myself in the pit of dispair and depression.
No! Instead i will bounce my eyes onto Gods promises that talks about HOPE,RENEWAL,HEALING,
And by faith i will find myself steering towards exactly that!!

The kingdom of Heaven belongs to little ones like these

Last night my husband me sat outside on the steps in the warm night air.
My 11 yr son was playing outside.
My two yr old was tinkering around too.
It was so good to JUST BE…….to sit quietly and just enjoy the moment.
The next thing we knew, m twonyr old was carrying out the couch pillows and throwing them down the steps by our feet. Within a few minutes, he had successfully buildt a mountain of pillows.
We let him be for two reasons:
One….it gave us a window of oppprtunity to just sit and relax and secondly everything in our house and the house itself is old and damaged anyway….
Mission now complete, he moved on to the next adventure: standing on his selfmade mountain and flopping down into it.
With each " flop down" he would disappear into the " depths of pillow mountain",
with just his top body sticking out.
This off course was great fun……for him…..and to a point for us as we were sharing in his delight.
But this meant our peace was coming to an end as my hubby or me kept having to rescue him out,as he held his hands up for us to pull him up.
This new adventure was repeated over and over and eventually my hubby warned him: " ok. Enough now my boy"

This fell on deaf ears off course.

Jordan just looked my hubby straight in the eyes and with a delightfull giggle flopped down just to stretch out his hands again to us while looking up at us with a radiant cuteness and delight that just could not evoke anger or irritation in us.

At that moment i understood what Jesus said, that the Kingdom of Heaven, belongs to those who can become like children.
When we seek to enjoy God and to WANT to include Him into our daily life, when we look up to Him with delight and just our plain human self…. No hidden agendas, no trying to impress or perform………my oh my……how we must tug at our Heavenly Fathers heart too……and suddenly our request( prayers) surely too grabs hold of Heaven ……as we hold out our arms to Him in surrender,expectation and trust…….